The concept and idea of donating sperm and eggs are not only very taboo in Pakistan but something which people know very little about.
Most of us have heard about IVF treatments that couples can opt for if they are trying to conceive a child but rarely does anyone ever mention the option of getting donor sperm or eggs, or even hiring a surrogate to carry your child.
Our neighbors over in India have become a hub for surrogacy centers because the payout is good and women from lower social economic statuses find it a good option to make some money.
But in Pakistan, the practice of surrogacy barely exists. This is mainly because of how controversial the practice would be from a religious point of view.
Authorities on Islam have deemed it unlawful for someone to have a child with anyone other than their legal spouse and since in egg and sperm donation, this is usually not the case, it is automatically not allowed no matter how the procedure is carried out.
Even with test tube babies in Pakistan, both the sperm and eggs are from a legally married couple.
But none of this has stopped young Pakistanis especially young Pakistani men from stepping up and registering themselves on websites where they have selflessly offered to donate their sperm to couples who have trouble conceiving.
Most of these websites are based in Western countries, and the process of how the donors will be contacted and how the extraction and shipment of the donated sperm and eggs will take place is questionable.
Women who are opting to donate their eggs are much lower in numbers. And that’s not exactly surprising since the extraction procedure for women is much tougher. But right now, there seems to be no doctors or facilities offering these services in Pakistan.
A few centres which provide IVF treatments do hint at providing other services but none of these are blatantly mentioned on their websites or social media.
And we don’t blame them since it’s tricky business in Pakistan. But don’t worry, foreign-based websites have got you! No idea what the logistics will be like but you can definitely try.
Currently, there is no law in Pakistan which outrightly deems egg and sperm donation as illegal but a case on surrogacy set the precedent for surrogacy in Pakistan. The case was a wild read, a doctor from the UK entered into surrogacy a marriage contract with a Pakistani woman. He married her but did not declare the marriage, he then proceeded to impregnate her and when the woman delivered the child she changed her mind and contested for full custody of the child.
In the end, the court decided in favor of her because surrogacy contracts are not recognized in Pakistan. And because he had never declared his marriage with her, he had forfeited all his paternal rights as well. Ouch.
Pakistan still has a long way to go to develop laws regarding paternity and maternity rights since the law used currently dates back to 1890.
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